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Introduction
& Prolog
Part 1.
Metabolic Metaphysics
Part 2.
Star Larvae
Part 3.
Space Brains
Addenda
Epilog

The Star Larvae Hypothesis
Nature's Plan for Humankind
Part 3. Space Brains

Quantum Theology

Resolving the proton crisis through oneiric intent—the universe heals itself through its own subjectivity.


 

The prospect of technologically mediated lucid dreaming among the networked and enriched brains of extraterrestrials suggests a mechanism for manufacturing protons through an application of the quantum "observer effect".

Whew.

Building on the work of neurologists and dream researchers, physicist Fred Alan Wolf proposes in his book,"The Dreaming Universe," that the dream state and quantum mechanics enjoy a special relationship. He proposes that individual identities evolve out of the indeterminate and ambiguous experiences of the dream state. He goes on to propose that preconscious mental processing involves neural structures that compare superposed quantum states in the brain and construct a particular self awareness from among the superposed possibilities. The process parallels that by which empirical events also condense out of quantum superpositions.

"Self-determining objects, such as man, with a spark of freedom and creativity in them, are also in part self-limiting, and in choosing their own limits, they also choose what the limits of God as knowing them shall be. In deciding to do this, not that, I decide that God shall know me as actually doing this, and not know me as actually doing that. I decide the content of the divine knowledge."

— Charles Hartshorne
The Divine Relativity

Quantum collapse into objective events and the collapse of indeterminate dream (preconscious) states into subjective events are concomitant processes. Each is a reduction of multiple possibilities into a particularized actuality that has both an objective and a subjective nature. Gravitational self-collapse of a quantum superposition occurs when the superposed mass attains a magnitude that causes it to perceive itself, or that corresponds to it perceiving itself, which is the subjective correlate of the collapse of the quantum indeterminacy into a determinate event. The process that locates mass also locates consciousness (subjectivity). The two occurrences are simultaneous.

This model of quantum consciousness recalls the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead, who proposed that the entities that compose this universe have simultaneously an objective and a subjective nature. He used the language of subjectivity to describe the precipitation of actual events from indeterminacy. In Whitehead’s philosophy an actual event occurs through the concrescence of "prehensions" into a "satisfaction" of feeling. He called his philosophy the "philosophy of organism" to capture the simultaneity of objectivity and subjectivity in the concrescence of events. Unfortunately, Whitehead's followers adopted the term "process philosophy" instead of "philosophy of organism" and thereby marginalized an intended implication of Whitehead's thought.

The star larvae hypothesis adds a layer of conjecture to this already speculative construction. It proposes that the dream state, specifically the lucid dream state, and more specifically the amplified communal lucid dream state, has a particular efficacy in terms of the observer effect of quantum mechanics, in which human intent can affect the outcome of quantum processes. The lucid dream is that brand of consciousness most efficacious at influencing quantum events through intent and is therefore the state of mind best suited to conjuring protons from the quantum fluctuations that produce Hawking radiation.

Wolf goes so far as to suggest that, just as events precipitate out of quantum indeterminacy to participate in the physical universe, so too do the many psychological selves that precipitate out of the range of possibilities presented in the dream state participate in a mental or subjective universe at large, a notion that suggests theology. It recalls the notion from many traditions of a cosmic mind and to Whitehead's notion of life's contribution to that mind.

"If human reason seems to discredit known religious forms, what ensues is not a sober rational appraisal of merely human factors accepted as such. What ensues is Lenin worship, party worship, state worship, self-worship, despair, sensuality, or some other vagary. The proper reaction to this apparent fact is not necessarily the advocacy of a 'return to religion,' meaning by that to a religion whose deficiencies were the very reason why men of the highest integrity and wisdom felt dissatisfied with it, and which is deeply entangled in vested interests. What we need is to make a renewed attempt to worship the objective God, not our forefathers’ doctrines about him."

— Charles Hartshorne
The Divine Relativity

The Big Bang and the Big Wow

A kind of quantum theology has grown more overtly from the work of Roger Penrose and Stuart Hameroff. Leveraging their model of cosmic consciousness, astrophysicist Paola Zizzi proposes that, in the earliest moments of the Big Bang, the mass of the entire universe-to-be was for a brief moment superposed in a quantum coherent state. This state of superposition corresponds to what is called the inflationary phase of the early universe, a phase of very rapid expansion which has become a standard feature of the Big Bang cosmology. Zizzi proposes that this primordial indeterminacy collapsed in an objective reduction that would have been accompanied by an instance of cosmic subjectivity, or what Stuart Hameroff calls "the Big Wow." The theological implications of this idea are evident. Zizzi explains her phenomenological interpretation of the Big Bang at http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0007006.

Whitehead's process philosophy includes a theology that complements all of these ideas. In it God has three natures: a primordial nature in which God plays the role of thaumaturge and which seems to correspond to Zizzi's phenomenological interpretation of inflationary cosmology. God's second nature, his consequent nature, is in process of becoming and corresponds to the actual evolution of the physical universe, including the subjective experiences of the creatures. Once these experiences occur, they are knowable and become data in God's memory. God's third nature is superjective and is the lure that God dangles before the universe to persuade it to elaborate increasingly novel and aesthetically intense occurrences. The nudge takes the form of subjective feelings.

The Retrieval of Metanarrative

Grand historiographic systems, such as Whitehead's, constitute what in academic theory is called "metanarrative." The term refers to an overarching organizing concept that bestows a plot to the events of history. Examples include

  • Marxism, in which history is a competition among social classes
  • Analytic psychology (Freud), in which history is competition between civilization and its discontents (the repressed drives of the Id)
  • Darwinism, in which (natural) history is a competition among species and/or individuals and/or genes for material resources
  • The Enlightenment, in which history is a competition between scientific rationalism and religious superstition
  • Christianity, in which history is a competition between God and Satan
  • . . . and so on.

Deconstructive and postmodern academic theorists tend to dismiss metanarratives in favor of more anarchic/ironic interpretations of historical events.

But the star larvae hypothesis is a blatant metanarrative in which history is a competition between novelty and habit, but which subordinates all events to the ontogenetic life cycle of this universe and the evolution of universes in the metaverse. The grand narrative plot is, admittedly, religious. It includes such hallmarks of religion as an unfolding of events that serves cosmic purposes, ascent to the heavens, and the transcendence of the flesh. However, unlike religious narratives, this plot requires the participation of science. It enlists science to articulate principles that describe the behaviors of matter and energy in ways of which engineers can make use. The deepest yearnings of the religious sensibility indeed show the way. But only the ingenuity and applied methods of science can satisfy those yearnings. Even the most purebred Rortian pragmatist, who would not bother with the theory behind the star larvae hypothesis, should be able to line up behind the hypothesis on purely pragmatic grounds, because it describes a utopian—a super-utopian—future built on the momentum of Western civilization.

NEXT > Cyberfetus Rising

Astrotheology_Narada-Brahma, Hindu vision of solarizationAstrotheology_Jacob's Extraterrestrial Dream as seen by William Blake
"According to this doctrine [of oriental eschatologies related to Chaldean astrology] the soul returned to heaven after death, to live there among the divine stars. While it remained on earth it was subject to all the bitter necessities of a destiny determined by the revolutions of the stars; but when it ascended into the upper regions, it escaped that fate and even the limits of time; it shared in the immortality of the sidereal gods that surrounded it. In the opinion of some, the soul was attracted by the rays of the sun, and after passing through the moon, where it was purified, it lost itself in the shining star of day. Another more purely astrological theory, that was undoubtedly a development of the former, taught that the soul descended to earth from the heights of heaven by passing through the spheres of the seven planets. During its passage it acquired the dispositions and qualities proper to each planet. After death it returned to its original abode by the same route. To get from one sphere to another, it had to pass a door guarded by a commandant. Only the souls of initiates knew the password that made those incorruptible guardians yield, and under the conduct of a psychopompus they ascended safely from zone to zone. As the soul rose it divested itself of the passions and qualities it acquired on its descent to the earth as though they were garments, and, free from sensuality, it penetrated into the eighth heaven to enjoy everlasting happiness as a subtle essence."

— Franz Cumont
Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism


 

The Star Larvae Hypothesis:

Stars constitute a genus of organism. The stellar life cycle includes a larval phase. Biological life constitutes the larval phase of the stellar life cycle.

Elaboration: The hypothesis presents a teleological model of nature, in which    

 

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